Wednesday

6th Jul 2022

Eurozone ministers impatient on Greek bailout review

Greece came under renewed pressure to reach a deal with creditors on the latest round of cuts and economic reforms at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday (28 January).

Troika officials representing Greece's creditors began their latest review of the implementation of the country's €240 billion rescue in September.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

But they are still to approve the next tranche of a rescue loan, with offficials indicating that an agreement was unlikely to be reached before the end of February.

The review “is taking too long,” Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and chairman of the “Eurogroup,” said. “It’s been going on since September-October, and I think it’s in the joint interest of us and the Greek government to finalise it as soon as possible.”

Dijsselbloem also told reporters that any further discussions aimed at tackling an estimated €11 billion shortfall in Greece's finances in 2014 are on hold.

“We’ve made it quite clear that we’re not going to come back to it until there is a final positive conclusion to the review,” he noted.

"We call on Greece and the troika to do the utmost to conclude the negotiations," he added.

The Greek government is not facing an imminent cash-flow crisis, but says it has no political room to implement any more spending cuts.

The Greek government says its economy will emerge from six years of recession in 2014, and record a primary budget surplus of 1.6 percent of GDP in the process.

It also says that a primary surplus should see its creditors reduce the country's debt burden as part of the bailout agreement.

For his part, Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras said he hoped a deal could be reached next month, paving the way for the release of more financial aid in March. He also suggested that Greece would record a primary surplus for 2013, estimated at €830 million.

Stournaras noted that any fiscal gap for 2015 would be covered with structural reforms, not further austerity measures.

Ministers also discussed the conclusion of Portugal's rescue package, as well as the implications of the wind-down of the US economic stimulus.

The gradual reduction in the US Federal Reserve's multi-billion dollar monthly bond buying programme could lead to a bumpy ride for the global financial system, with emerging countries likely to be the worst affected.

"Of course we are worried about this from the perspective of the emerging countries," Dijsselbloem told reporters. He added: "I am not particularly worried about the risk of contagion. I think the position of the eurozone is different and that we have to maintain our progress."

Opinion

Is China a challenge to Nato? Beijing responds

The Chinese mission to the EU responds to last week's Madrid Nato summit, which stated China posed "systemic challenges" and warned against the "deepening strategic partnership between Russia and China".

News in Brief

  1. Turkey signs Nato protocol despite Sweden extradition row
  2. European gas production hit by Norway strike
  3. EU Commission told to step up fight against CAP fraud
  4. Ukraine needs €719bn to rebuild, says PM
  5. Germany records first monthly trade deficit since 1991
  6. Pilots from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden strike
  7. Report: EU to sign hydrogen deal with Namibia
  8. Israel and Poland to mend relations

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. 'World is watching', as MEPs vote on green finance rules
  2. Turkey sends mixed signals on Sweden's entry into Nato
  3. EU Parliament sued over secrecy on Nazi MEP expenses
  4. Italy glacier tragedy has 'everything to do' with climate change
  5. The Digital Services Act — a case-study in keeping public in dark
  6. Report slams German opposition to new child sexual abuse rules
  7. Is China a challenge to Nato? Beijing responds
  8. ECB announces major green shift in corporate bond-buying

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us